Nonbinary Actor Jessie James Keitel on Groundbreaking ‘Big Sky’ Role
– Jessie James Keitel –
In the ABC drama, Keitel plays a transfeminine musician and sex worker, making her the first nonbinary actor to play a nonbinary series regular on primetime television. Read on to learn more about her.
Jesse James Keitel
Jesse James Keitel, a rising nonbinary and transgender actor, was hesitant to audition for the role of Jerrie on ABC’s “Big Sky.”
Keitel, who uses she/her and they/them pronouns, thought the inconsistent character breakdown was “murky,” casting doubt on the show’s ability to properly represent a transgender character.
After landing the role, Keitel the first nonbinary series regular on primetime television was able to work with the writers and producers to make the character more representative of today’s queer experience.
Kelley is about two private detectives and an ex-cop working together to solve a kidnapping case in Montana Keitel plays Jerrie Kennedy.
A transfeminine, nonbinary musician and sex worker were kidnapped at a rest stop by a truck driver Ronald Pergman (Brian Geraghty) for a possible sex trafficking ring.
Throughout the season, Keitel said, they were able to bring their own lived experiences to Jerrie, rebuilding the character’s appearance from the ground up.
“As you’ll see later in the series, my character’s presentation is uniquely hers,” the actor told NBC News.
“There have been times when something in the script just didn’t sit right with me, and the producers have been incredible at listening to what I had to say and tweaking the script to be more of what I would want to see on TV.”
The entire team has performed admirably. I’m not the only queer person on the show, but it’s a very straight, cis space, so being able to have those conversations has been a breath of fresh air.”
Keitel, a distant relative of Academy Award nominee Harvey Keitel, was born and raised in Manorville, New York, and grew up performing in local theater productions on Long Island.
It influenced their decision to pursue an acting degree at Pace University. Keitel admits that throughout their adolescence.
They never felt they fit the traditional mold of a successful Hollywood actor, but instead “had a very abstract idea of what gender and sexuality meant to me as a person.”
“I never thought [acting] could be a reality for me, especially as a young queer kid with really funky hair and a really cool style,” they admitted.
“However, I went into college thinking that I needed to become the most neutral version of myself in order to succeed.” I changed my hairstyle and my clothing.
I really tried to shape myself into this image of what a successful actor should be. It wasn’t until after I graduated that I realized why the puzzle pieces wouldn’t fit together.”
New York City
Frustrated and dejected, Keitel retreated to New York City nightlife and began performing in drag as Peroxide, a life-changing experience they credit with helping them accept their own identity.
“It was that avant-garde investigation of gender, presentation, and costumes that provided me with an artistic outlet and a self-awareness I hadn’t had since seventh or eighth grade.”
Not only did I gain confidence and new talents, but I was also able to apply what I had learned to my acting profession.
“When I embraced this new part of myself, I truly started becoming successful as an actor,” said the actor, who earned a Student Academy Award last year for their work in
“When I embraced this new part of myself, I truly started becoming successful as an actor,” said the actor, who earned a Student Academy Award for their role in “Miller & Son” last year.
With “Big Sky,” Keitel feels a special sense of obligation to portray a queer character in a genuine but non-exploitation way.
Jerrie is forced to strip and take a shower in front of her high-strung captor in the second episode, “Nowhere to Run,” but she decides to unveil herself to him in a rare moment of power and defiance.
It’s a magnificent scene that Keitel admits he had trouble nailing.
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FAQs on Jessie James Keitel
1. Who is Jessie James?
Jessie is a transfeminine musician and sex worker
2. Is Jessie James Keitel Dead?
No, Jessie is not Dead
3. Is Jessie on Instagram?
Yes, she is on Instagram
4. How many Followers does she have on Instagram?
She has 25.7 k followers on Instagram
5. Is Jessie Married?
No, Jessie is not married
6. Does Jessie have Children?
No, Jessie does not have a child/children
7. How Old is Jessie?
Jessie is 29 years old
8. Where is Jessie James Keitel from?
Jessie is from America
9. How Tall is Jessie?
Jessie is 5 feet 7 inches tall
10. Is Jessie on Twitter?
Yes, Jessie is on Twitter
Jesse James Keitel is an actor and non-binary artist best known for her role in the film Alex Strange Love. Jesse is also a screenwriter who specializes in writing scripts.